BLAST Premier Global Finals’ shortlist is decorated with big names, apt for such a prestigious event. However, the final opening match between Team Liquid and Na’Vi has all the right ingredients to keep the fans on their toes. 

BLAST Premier finals kicked off with Evil Geniuses going up against Astralis. However, it’s a match between Na’Vi versus Team Liquid that will have the most eyes on it. Na’Vi comes from the upper tier of world rankings with several wins in 2020 under its belt, whereas Liquid’s year was all right but nothing to write home about. 

The event started with a stable Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ecosystem. An off-season later, the Finals come back to new rosters, hastened arrangements, and a whole lot of mess. Team Liquid was one of the teams who lost key players to the online format, transitioning into an underdog at BLAST Premier. 

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Stats list Na’Vi among The Favorites

Na’Vi’s 2020 journey was a mix of highs and lows. The team wasn’t unbeatable by any stretch of the imagination, but Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev ensured that Na’Vi remains a name that players fear. After a heroic entry into 2020, the team’s performance eventually declined, resulting in close losses against the likes of Vitality in IEM XV – Beijing. Despite a slump in the latter half of the year, Na’Vi remains a reckless force that can pounce over Team Liquid. 

Thanks to Na’Vi’s gleaming 2020, the team has quickly become the favourite pick for the win. A successful run at ESL Pro League, Intel Extreme Master XV, and first finishes at BLAST Premier regular season and Intel Extreme Masters XIV helped the team power into top 3 of the world rankings. 

Team Liquid’s time to shine 

While Na’Vi remained victorious at numerous fronts affirming its position as one of the best teams in the world, the same can’t be said about Team Liquid. Jake “Stewie2K” Yip led roster was plummeting it struggled to retain a spot in top 10 of world rankings. The North American organization kept afloat with the same quintet for most of the year. Numerous losses and a subpar performance resulted in a quick evaluation which saw Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken pack his bags. The Canadian player wrapped up his journey at a bright note by impelling Team Liquid to second place in Intel Extreme Masters VX- GC.

The team’s history testify that Liquid had rarely ever fallen into the category of “underdogs.” However, the North American team was one of the unfortunate ones to fall prey to online format’s repercussions. Unlike other major teams that trailed off after a few poor performances, Team Liquid has made some bold decisions in its preparation to hoist the trophy. 

The North American organization has moved to Europe for the rest of 2021, to compete actively against the best and removed a key player Twistzz from its roster. Brazilian maestro of all CSGO Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo’s addition warrants Team Liquid’s interest in winning trophies in 2021 and BLAST Premier Finals may be the stage they aim to dominate before entering 2021 tournaments. 

Also Read | FalleN joins Team Liquid

Team Liquid’s combat against s1mple

S1mple’s eccentric playstyle has the potential to destroy Team Liquid’s well-planned stats in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, the team has found a cure for S1mple’s unstoppable AWP in the shape of FalleN. MiBR’s former star has filled the vacancy at Team Liquid, becoming the fifth player the world has set its sights on. BLAST Premier’s opening match will be his first stint with the North-American Organization. 

FalleN enters the team with a rating of a whopping 1.08. His AWP may not rain kills for Team Liquid, but yearlong experience gives FalleN an edge over the rest. His CSGO acumen, combined with a crisp aim, may bring Team Liquid back into the race. In competition with Na’Vi, FalleN’s AWP bolsters Team Liquid’s lineup that seems rather bland without the ace-rifler Twistzz.

The two teams go neck to neck, with a considerable disparity stat-wise. But, Team Liquid is coming back with a powerhouse that could surprise the fans and sceptics. 

Coming from the upper tier of world rankings, Na’Vi’s battle with the ninth-best team in the world could deliver unexpected results. They may have a contender for the position of the best player in the world; Team Liquid could emerge as dark horse in a tight-knit match against Na’Vi.